Our Mission

The UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) is the official and trusted source of internationally-comparable data on education, science, culture and communication. As the official statistical agency of UNESCO, the UIS produces a wide range of indicators in UNESCO’s fields of action by working with national statistical offices, line ministries and other statistical organizations. The UIS Director serves as the Organization’s chief statistician.

We produce the data to fuel the policies and investments needed to transform lives and propel the world towards its development goals. As a result of our work: 

  • countries and the UN system have been able to monitor progress towards Education for All and the related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) before setting the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and creating the frameworks needed to monitor progress, especially in the field of education;
  • countries have a trusted source of guidance and training on international measurement;
  • national governments and international organizations can evaluate trends, benchmark progress and better target their policies;
  • donors have the vital evidence to help them direct resources to the areas of education where their funding will meet the most urgent needs and measure their impact; and
  • civil society groups have the ‘hard facts’ they need to mobilise support to provide quality education for all.

UIS expanded mandate: Transforming the SDGs into action

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will remain just that – a set of lofty goals with no clear directions to achieve them. This is why the international development community has given the UIS the mandate to develop the methodologies, standards and indicators needed to achieve SDG 4–Education 2030 and key targets in science and innovation, culture and communication in close consultation with partners.

By working on a daily basis with national statistical offices, line ministries and technical partners around the world, the UIS is uniquely situated to lead the global initiatives to measure SDG 4.

As the statistical agency of UNESCO, the UIS has functional autonomy and applies rigorous professional standards to produce high-quality data, methodologies and global standards.

The Institute is hosted by the Université de Montréal at the École des hautes études commerciales (HEC Montréal).

Our Services

  • Develop, produce and analyse cross-nationally comparable data in UNESCO’s fields of competence so that countries can benchmark their progress towards their development goals;
  • Develop innovative methodologies and international standards that meet the changing policy needs of countries;
  • Serve as the neutral broker and trusted source of support and guidance for countries looking to improve the measurement of critical issues, such as learning outcomes;
  • Provide a range of technical services and tools to countries to produce and use high-quality data for effective policymaking; and
  • Advocate for the production and use of data as a public good to spotlight issues and regions needing greater support from the international community.